Local firm receives award for historic preservation project

TowerPinkster, one of Michigan’s leading architecture and engineering firms, was among those to receive a 2013 Governor’s Award for historic preservation for its work restoring the Old Federal Building downtown Grand Rapids for Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.

TowerPinkster, Ferris State University and its Kendall College of Art and Design, Christman Capital Development Company, the Christman Company, Hopkins Burns Design Studio, and the City of Grand Rapids will receive the award for the historic preservation at a recognition ceremony on May 1.

The Old Federal Building, 148 Ionia Ave. NE, has been transformed into a LEED Gold-certified hub of the Kendall campus. The $16.6 million, 91,000 square-foot project took nearly two years to complete. The building has long been a hub of activity in downtown. Originally dedicated in 1909 as a U.S. Post Office and Federal District Court building, the building housed the Grand Rapids Art Museum from 1981 to 2007. In 1974 it was included on the National Register of Historic Places.

“It was a huge challenge adapting the building for new technology and energy efficiency while maintaining the historic architecture and design integrity,” said Arnie Mikon, President and CEO of TowerPinkster. “The Federal Building has so much history and character; we wanted to be sure that wasn’t lost in our renovations.”